LEADERSHIP GROUP LG (2015) Paper August 2015 ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT MODEL.

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1 LEADERSHIP GROUP LG (2015) Paper August 2015 ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME REVIEW OF THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT MODEL Executive Summary 1. This paper invites the Leadership Group to note the outcome of the review of the performance management system. In accordance with the agreed governance arrangements, the new process, coaching programme for line managers and timescales and roll-out plan was approved by the OD Board on 14 August. Issues and Options 2. The primary purpose of a performance management process is to enable and drive high levels of individual performance which in turn supports high team and organisational performance. Feedback suggests that our current process, based on a traditional model, fails to universally achieve that purpose. Rather than incentivising high performance, the design of traditional performance management processes means that the opposite effect can result and staff can feel demoralised by the process. Review Remit 3. A well-designed process is an essential complement to an effective performance management culture and must: be fit for purpose; represent high return on effort and investment; be tracked and reported against; allow the outcomes of high quality conversations to be captured digitally in a light-touch way; empower staff to take ownership of their performance and development and to identify and build upon their strengths; be simple and proportionate i.e. is not designed principally to address poor or under-performance when we know that the majority of staff are performing well or excelling in their roles; and be natural, compelling and intuitive for people to use. Research Findings 4. Extensive research and trend analysis indicate that we are not alone in seeking to review our performance management process and that organisations are increasingly shifting from a traditional model towards a strengths-based approach. This, too, is our direction of travel. Whilst measurement of performance will continue to focus on outcomes, the core of the new approach is a greater emphasis on maximising individual strengths. This is based on the premise that people perform better when they are performing activities that play to their strengths and are more likely to successfully achieve their goals and objectives. People are more receptive to 1

2 5. this type of feedback rather than discussions about fixing minor weaknesses. Research indicates that focusing on strengths has one of the strongest impacts on employee performance of all line manager actions, improving individual performance by almost 40%. 1 This, of course, does not mean that weaknesses will be ignored but simply that the emphasis of the conversation will shift. Principles of Performance Management 6. Progressing towards a strengths-based approach necessitates a shift in the principles which underpin our process: FROM TO Process heavy People before process. Staff being supported by high quality conversations Bureaucratic, time consuming and Light touch, simple and proportionate complex Emphasis on generic skills/addressing weaknesses Understanding, building upon and encouraging personal strengths Something done to staff Staff empowered to take ownership of their performance and development Line manager as judge Line manager as coach (coaching principles for line managers) Fixed discussion/review points Ongoing dialogue at regular intervals relevant to the role Retrospective/dwelling on the past Real time/future focus Assessment ratings Relevant, meaningful and timely feedback and praise 7. This approach also requires a different style of management. Enhancing management practice through a new coaching model for line managers recognises that good managers, with the capability and desire to coach staff in support of high performance and individual growth, is key. The model will help to refine and improve our existing coaching and mentoring skills by applying more rigour to the process. Through the new coaching programme, managers will be encouraged to discover strengths in all staff members, to help to identify what is stopping people from using their strengths at work, and to overcome the barriers to do so at both an organisational and individual level. It is in this shift and in the investment in enhancing management practice and a new simple online system for capturing outcomes of performance conversations that the benefits of this approach come to the fore. Moving to the new approach: Features of our current Performance Management System 1 A 2005 Corporate Leadership Council study involving data from over employees in 135 organisations 2

3 8. In designing our new approach, the review team analysed each feature of our current model to see whether it fulfilled its original function or represented return on effort and investment. The output of this review is captured below: Features that will be retained: Feature Comment Role description Role specific Objectives Skills and Behaviours Reflection on Lessons Learned Appeals process This will provide clarity around the role and its key success areas. It will be succinct and can be reviewed and updated should there be substantive changes to the role. It will sit as a reference document within the individual s performance resources section on SPLearning. These will continue to be set with reference to the role description and will still intrinsically link to the office plan stemming from the delivery plan and the strategic plan. In addition, these: will take account of the balance of activities within a role e.g. routine tasks, project-based or a combination; should include business as usual activities and involvement in corporate activities, corporate roles, membership of working groups etc. be captured within the individual s performance pathway on SPLearning could potentially include stretch objectives to support an individual s growth Whilst objectives set out what is to be delivered and when, skills and behaviours capture how these should be achieved and ensure alignment with the organisation s values. These would be used as a reference point to aid conversations rather than evidence having to be specifically provided under each. No rating would be applied to these. These will be considered and applied in real-time, maximising the value of feedback. These will be captured as a normal part of the performance conversation rather than as a separate box on a form. Whilst the concept of a JAR will discontinue, staff will have the opportunity to informally raise any concerns with how their performance and development is managed with their line manager s manager through the process. If unresolved informally, the grievance procedure may be accessed. Features that will discontinue Feature Comment End and in- Years Reviews Performance will be managed instead through the ongoing dialogue that comes from meetings between a line manager and a member of staff. These will be: 3

4 Regular (one per month but more frequent intervals if relevant to the role) Use the new coaching model to focus on strengths, individual growth and development Initiated by member of staff or line manager Open and honest Current and future focused Captured in a light-touch simple way Compliance objectives (equality, health and safety, environment performance) Overall performance assessment Performance outcomes will: Take account of how objectives achieved through strengths and relevant skills and behaviours and focus on what s important; Include feedback from others; and Inform development activities and learning pathways. Consultation with the Equalities Manager and the Health and Safety Adviser indicates that the value created by the current inclusion of these objectives can be otherwise achieved. Both consider that equality and health and safety considerations are now more mainstreamed and that such a heavy focus at individual level is no longer necessary. They anticipate that greater value will accrue from them working in partnership with group/office heads to consider and progress any themes at local level. Ratings are motivating to some but the positive impact of e.g. an exceptional rating is reduced in the longer-term. Analysis of previous reports and feedback from staff suggests inconsistent application across the organisation. These also act as a barrier to high quality conversations as previously referenced. In the absence of ratings, we should consider appropriate ways of ensuring that beyond praise from their line managers, high performing individuals and/or teams receive recognition of their efforts. This may be through, for example, featuring case studies of work they have done in EH99 and tapping into existing mechanisms such as the Exceptional Contribution Scheme. 4

5 Countersigning of performance by a more senior manager The time and effort invested in this process is disproportionate to the value it creates. Managers in particular business areas currently have to countersign a very high volume of forms, often in situations where they are operating at a distance from the individual on a day-to-day basis and therefore have more limited knowledge of their performance. The benefit to this approach is that consistency of application across the business area can be assured. We will consider other means of quality assurance in its absence and in particular, the role of the office head and the HR Office. Line managers will be strongly encouraged to seek feedback from those the individual has worked closely with to inform the recognition and coaching they provide. Similarly, the member of staff will be strongly encouraged to seek and share with their line manager feedback from those they work closely with, both within their team and across the organisation. Features that will be added Feature Comment PDP Active encouragement to seek feedback from others The PDP process was previously decoupled from the performance management process to split the amount of effort which required to be applied to an end-year review into two separate meetings. With a strengths-based approach, performance and development are naturally linked together and feed off each other. It is sensible then to combine both into one performance conversation and this fits well within a streamlined system. In today's world of work, high performance often requires collaborative, interdependent effort. We do not generally achieve our objectives independently of others. Feedback will help line managers to obtain a fuller picture of an individual s performance and will also help to reduce any unconscious bias. Such feedback supports the organisation s value of collaboration. Benefits of our New Approach 9. There are many benefits to be gained from our new approach. Taken together and applied well, the features of the new approach will result in a more natural and compelling approach which should encourage staff to engage with performance discussions more positively than is currently the case, including: Improved performance at all levels 5

6 As well as driving high levels of individual performance, it will support the development of high performing teams. As managers become more skilled and experienced in applying the new coaching model, they will develop a deeper insight into their team which will help them to influence these strengths to maximise team effort and delivery. Identifying and supporting unacceptable performance Unacceptable performance will be identified and addressed more quickly and formal procedures (which will sit separately) to be invoked sooner with line managers supported by guidance and advice from the HR. Greater efficiency Greater efficiency in performance management is another benefit we can expect to see realised from the new approach. It is intended to be light-touch and to capture concisely on an ongoing basis the outcomes of the regular conversations that already occur between line managers and staff. This is time which is already invested. Time and effort spend in preparing for, conducting and finalising the in- and end-year review will be entirely eliminated along with the associated complex paperwork. This allows the emphasis of effort to be applied to the individual rather than to the process. Freed of a burdensome level of administration, line managers can now create greater value to the organisation as coaches and make a real and meaningful difference to the performance and development of staff. The online system for outcome capture is hosted via SPLearning and is simple to use. It supports a more flexible and less prescriptive approach well with easy access via PC or mobile device. Greater value from performance conversations Removing assessment ratings will assist in breaking down barriers inherent in traditional performance management design. Research indicates that the quality of conversations increase where no rating is to be allocated to an individual. This is because the assessment element of a performance review can negatively influence an individual s contribution to the conversation, for example, not engaging fully. Alternatively, conversations may be distorted to meet the desired rating. In both responses, the individual is not properly assimilating the feedback given and the value of the review is lost. The future approach focuses less on assigning people to boxes and more on supporting staff to develop and move in the right direction. The absence of an assessment rating will free up the conversation and good coaching and feedback skills will encourage greater openness, honesty and the all-important trust in the relationship between line manager and staff member. Individuals will feel comfortable genuinely discussing their performance and any self-limiting beliefs. Greater value will therefore emerge from performance conversations. An approach based on ongoing dialogue ensures that performance outcomes are considered in real-time where this is relevant and meaningful. Discussions around lessons learned can be used to positive effect with any necessary changes to approach, skills and behaviours can be applied immediately. Communication and Engagement 10. Whilst the current system appears to be universally unpopular, there is comfort in the familiar and the new approach represents a bit of a shift for the 6

7 organisation and its performance and development culture. To reap the benefits and efficiencies of the new system, managers and staff will be supported through this change. Individual LG members, working with HR colleagues, must ensure that the principles of the new approach are well embedded to mitigate the risk of people applying the new process in the old way. 11. Buy-in and engagement of staff is also critical to the success of this project. Significant advance consultation has already been undertaken with, to date, over 150 colleagues across the organisation. This has helped to create commitment and energy for proposed change. Reactions to the changes have been overwhelmingly positive. A reference group has also been established comprising colleagues from across the organisation at all levels to help shape the work and ensure the new approach is fit for purpose. We will continue to seek feedback throughout and beyond the roll out period and making adjustments if necessary in accordance with the agreed programme methodology. Roll-out 12. The new model and associated L&D programme will coincide with the launch of SPLearning. The roll-out period is from mid-september to December 2015, with wash-ups taking place in January We are consulting office heads to identify times within the roll-out period that works particularly well for their areas to minimise the impact on parliamentary business. A timeline and rollout plan has been produced to facilitate these discussions. Resource Implications 13. The project expenditure budget for the performance management review is part of the OD Programme approved budget. 14. The staff time for contributing ideas and sitting on reference group meetings will be tracked and accounted by the programme. 15. LG has already signed off the L&D programme of work to support the new approach to performance management, including coaching skills for managers in June. The time for attending the learning sessions will be set against the established annual 5 training days per member of staff. This will feature in all our PDPs for Governance Issues 16. LG has previously agreed the programme of work, budget, timeline and governance arrangements. 7

8 17. The TUS is represented on the reference group and is highly supportive of the proposed new approach. Publication Scheme 18. This paper may be published. Next Steps/Decision 19. LG is invited to: Note the changes to the performance management model set out above; and Note the timescales and rollout plan for the staff awareness sessions and coaching programme set out above 8

9 Annex A 9

10 Annex B Performance Management L&D Programme 1. The programme below has been devised to support managers and staff: Mandatory 2.5 hour awareness session for managers outlining the key messages of the following three intertwined projects: the launch of a new performance management approach that is simple and effective and uses a coaching style; development programme to equip managers with the skills needed for coaching style conversations to take place, and the launch of a new flexible learning system that supports collaboration, and sharing of ideas and knowledge. There will also be an opportunity for questions. 1.5 hour awareness session for staff which would be a truncated version of the 2.5 hour awareness session for managers above Recommended A half day Essential of Coaching Skills for Managers 1 workshop to develop knowledge and skills A follow on half day Essential of Coaching Skills for Managers 2 workshop held a few weeks later to further develop knowledge and skills based on their experience of coaching so far. Optional Online Resources contains videos, best practice, and articles. There will be a number of bespoke short videos outlining how line managers coach across a number of scenarios. The material for the online training toolkit will be built up over time to create on-going interest with staff members, and not just at launch Action Learning Sets these enable managers to share experiences, identify good practice and create learning networks. They are essentially group coaching sessions or problem solving sessions. 10

11 Annex C 11

12 Annex D 12

Andrew Bratt, Assistant Director Human Resources, Resources and Quality Assurance abratt@gmc-uk.org, 0161 923 6215

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